Tom Lovett ‘Recover Your Dream Australia’ convener
Luke 9:11 is a favourite verse of well-known Healing Ministries:
“….but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.”
They followed Him. He welcomed them. He spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and He healed those who needed healing.
The order is clear:
- The people follow Jesus.
- They are welcomed by Jesus.
- He teaches them and then
- He heals them.
The scripture the Lord gave me for the June Gathering is Luke chapter 7 and specifically verses 1 to 30. Let’s turn to Chapter 9 of Luke and READ
Luke chapter 9:1-6, 10-11 ERV
V. 1-6: Jesus called his twelve apostles together. He gave them power to heal sicknesses and power to force demons out of people.
He sent them to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. He said to them, “When you travel, don’t take a walking stick. Also, don’t carry a bag, food, or money. Take for your trip only the clothes you are wearing. When you go into a house, stay there until it is time to leave. If the people in the town will not welcome you, go outside the town and shake the dust off your feet as a warning to them.”
So the apostles went out. The travelled through all the towns. They told the Good News and healed people everywhere.
V.10-11: When the apostles came back, they told Jesus what they had done on their trip. Then he took them away to a town called Bethsaida.
There he and his apostles could be alone together. But the people learned where Jesus went and followed him. He welcomed them and talked with them about God’s kingdom. He healed the people who were sick.
As the Holy Spirit opened up chapter 7 to me I was brought to tears.
From verse 3 we read about the Roman centurion who was loved by the Jews of his town, and whose servant was sick unto death. I think that the servant may have had cancer. If the servant had bowel or pancreatic cancer or leukaemia, without modern medication, even with the best possible care in the centurion’s large household, he would be in terrible pain, unable to eat, wasting away. He would have wished that he could die.
But just as the townsfolk loved the centurion the centurion loved his servant. The centurion hears about Jesus. Risking ridicule and severe reprimand by his superiors he goes to him as the last resort for healing for his beloved servant. By doing so he lowers himself to the level of peasants and shepherds and despised Galileans.
And when he comes to Jesus, he says he is not worthy to visit with Jesus. And Jesus rewards his faith and heals his servant.
What a miracle! The neighbourhood is now in an uproar, laughing and crying. Dancing and singing break out. The servant who was wasting away in pain and couldn’t eat is eating and not throwing up. Visitors are coming all night long to see the miracle with their own eyes, rejoicing with the servant’s family and friends and the centurion’s whole household and staff. What joy!
Soon afterwards there is another, greater, miracle. From verse 11 in chapter 7 we read how Jesus is entering the town called Nain and meets a funeral procession coming out of the town.
A widow is deeply mourning the death of her only son. Jesus raises the young man from death in the midst of his funeral procession. Jesus touches the coffin and straight away the young man sits up… “…and Jesus gives him back to his mother”.
The dead young man was not brought to Jesus. This time Jesus Himself approaches the patient because his heart goes out to his grieving widow.
You mothers and grandmothers, weep for your sick or wayward son or daughter or grandchild. Your tears are like healing water. Jesus sees them and your grief. He will touch your child. Then your child will sit up and Jesus will give your child back to you – if you will resist the human temptation to be “Past caring”… Jesus sees your tears and broken heart .
While men must approach Jesus for healing, He responds to mothers grieving over their children before they even ask.
I don’t know whether the tears I shed were for the mother’s pain and joy for her restored son, or at Jesus’ heartfelt compassion for her. Probably both.
And the people cried out – “God has come to help his people.”
These are just two of many miracles Jesus does in that town.
The Bible tells us that if all the miracles he had done were written down the world would not be big enough to hold all the books so filled.
Praise God He is doing that again for us today.
God gave John the Baptist many disciples. From verse 18 we read that some of them, probably chosen by John, came to ask Jesus if he was the one who was to come or will there be someone else. That is, they wanted to find out if Jesus was the Messiah – the saviour of the world.
“At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.” (V. 21)
He said, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (v.22)
Capernaum is soon in an uproar. The religious leaders are beside themselves in consternation. An upstart from the backblocks is stirring up the masses and they are becoming hysterical, believing they are healed by the mass hysteria created by this yokel and his groupies. People are leaving the synagogues in droves. Soon there will be disturbances of the peace. Workers will stop working to follow this man. And worst of all, commerce and tithes will suffer.
These dark negative thoughts are entering the heads of the scribes, the legal experts, and the religious elite, the Pharisees. Appointed to positions of prestige and authority to shepherd the poor and needy but they have no love nor sympathy for them; but Jesus is healing the people and their families are being made whole again.
Instead they threaten them of being caste out of the synagogue if they don’t give up following Jesus. These “shepherds” only love their status and their power which are now being threatened.
Jesus is fully aware of the sickness in their souls and the darkness descending into the minds of the religious leaders and legal experts.
He reassures the crowd, saying, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (v.23) and reminds them about John, the man who had nothing, wearing only skins and eating berries, pointing out that John is even more than a prophet and that there is no prophet greater than John. He is the messenger preparing the way for the Saviour.
And then Jesus makes an extraordinary statement to the people who are being threatened and humiliated by their religious leaders, “….the one who is least in the kingdom of God (i.e. believes in Jesus) is greater than he (John).” (v.28). The people, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledge that God’s way is right.
But not the Pharisees and the legal experts who had not received from John, “…. the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (v. 3:3)
This is our purpose here today. To confess that:
- Not one of us is free from the need of healing.
- We are willing to follow Jesus – in the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, with humility well knowing our own unworthiness to be received by Jesus.
- He welcomes us and teaches us.
- And then He heals us.
Lord Jesus, each one of us has come here seeking Your will for the Revival in Australia and for the wounded shepherds and sheep all over Australia.
Dear Lord we have come here today to thank You, to bless You and to serve You and to be guided by You.
We cannot see You physically walking through our streets like you did in Capernaum. Then the crowds followed you to hear your wisdom from God and be healed. But even then some were jealous, many were sceptical, and many were afraid.
We are not afraid or jealous or sceptical.
Although we cannot see You with our physical eyes, we do know You and love You and we thank You and we bless You. And we praise You, our Good Shepherd. And we tell others about You. We are Your sheep of
Your pasture. We listen for Your voice. We know that You love us and You protect us and You feed us, and bless us.
Lead us to your green pastures and quiet waters, Lord.
Jesus, You know each one’s own wounds and ailments and the condition of each of our children and grandchildren, husbands and wives and our former spouses, our siblings, and their needs and You have felt our tears for those who are ill or wayward or have not accepted You or are estranged from us.
Thank You Lord for them and for what they are teaching us.
Restore our relationships with all of them and them with us and with each other, and heal their wounds and their ailments.
Now Lord we ask You to touch each one of us.
As we meditate now for a few minutes, and pray silently in our hearts we offer up to You the problems in our lives, our pains, our hurts, our regrets, our diseases, our needs, our frustrations and our hopes and desires, and we give them all to You and we let them all go. As we think on these things we are giving them to you and letting them go.
Lord we ask You to touch those in our midst who are not with us today.
And we silently speak the names of those whom You bring to our minds and whom we ask You to save, heal and bless:
We pray for each one mentioned and offer up to You the problems in their lives, the pains, the hurts, the diseases, the wounds, the frustrations and we give them all to You on their behalf, and we let them all go.
Lord please receive our submissions and come touch each one we have prayed for and touch each one of us.
Thank You Jesus. Hymn